Cinema site deal in dramatic collapse

    Tunbridge Wells Cinema Site

    A deal which would have seen a new hotel and retail units built upon the old cinema site in Tunbridge Wells fell through late yesterday. It is the latest setback in the 15 year saga of what has been described as the town’s biggest eyesore.

    As the Times reported in October the current owner, Carlyle Group, had entered into the final stages of an agreement to sell the site to developer Bellhouse Joseph.

    But the hotel group, which was due to be the anchor tenant on the site, has since withdrawn from the agreement, leading to the sale’s collapse.

    Carlyle Group, has now appointed Savills and Strutt & Parker to remarket the site and find a buyer ‘as soon as possible’.

    However, a spokesman for Bellhouse Joseph said the developer was still interested in the site and blamed delays on the failure to secure the hotel.

    He said: “The deal we had been hoping to conclude is no longer possible as delays in finalising the process has led to one of the larger tenants withdrawing.

    “However, we are still in negotiations and remain committed to delivering a high quality mixed use development and have strong interest from restaurant and retail organisations.”

    The 1.3-acre site was bought by the Carlyle Group for £9.9 million in 2011.